Home » Buhari decries ‘unfair’ debt burden on poor countries

Buhari decries ‘unfair’ debt burden on poor countries

by Hadiza Musa Yusuf
0 comment 2 minutes read

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, in Doha, critisised the existing debt architecture that makes it more expensive for the least-developed countries to borrow on the global market than their advanced counterparts.

He warned that such an “unfair” arrangement would make it extremely difficult for the LDCs to meet the 2030 Agenda for 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Speaking in Doha, the capital of the state of Qatar, at the UN Conference of Least Developed Countries, Buhari also called on developed and developing nations to grant duty-free and quota-free market access for products originating from the world’s 46 LDCs to ensure their integration in regional and global value chains.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, revealed this in a statement he signed on Monday titled ‘President Buhari calls for duty-free market access for least-developed countries, criticises ‘unsustainable external debt burden’.

The United Nations identifies 46 economies, mostly in Africa, as the least-developed countries.

The designation entitles them to preferential market access, special technical assistance, aid, and capacity-building on technology, among other benefits.

Explaining the rising debt burden on the vulnerable nations, Buhari called for swift reforms of the international financial architecture that prioritises the need of LDCs.

He aligned with the United Nations Secretary-General’s description on the global financial system as an “unfair debt architecture that not only charges poor countries much more money to borrow on the market than advanced economies, but downgrades them when they even think of restructuring their debt or applying for debt relief.”

Buhari said “The possibility of achieving the SDGs remains bleak for many countries, particularly, the Least-Developed Countries.

“The difficulties in achieving the SDGs are numerous and were further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, the continued threat of Climate Change, and recently the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

‘The least-developed countries are often faced with developmental vulnerabilities and challenges that are not always of their making. These pose huge obstacles to their development efforts, hence the need for urgent and robust assistance to help unlock their potentials and build socio-economic resilience.”

Meanwhile, Buhari, also on Monday, advocated deeper ties between Nigeria and the Islamic Republic of Iran, saying this would be beneficial to both states even as a new President takes over from him on May 29.

He said the most viable area of collaboration would be energy, as both countries “have complementarities, especially in energy production.”

“I, therefore, welcome the strengthening of relations between our countries, as we have complementarities, especially in energy production,” Buhari said during a courtesy visit to him by the Iranian Vice President, Mohsen Mansour, on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations Summit in Doha, the Qatari capital.

On his part, the Iranian VP said he was glad to meet with Buhari, understanding fully that the two nations—with their rich human and natural resources and the attendant wealth accrued—needed to cooperate in other areas, including agriculture.

The Punch

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